Trailblazers Use Long Ball to Down Shockers

Utah Tech 12, Wichita State 4
W: Herman (1-0)
L: Bye (0-1)
S: None

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Utah Tech used five home runs, including three from Sean Keating, to defeat Wichita State 12-4 on Wednesday afternoon at Bruce Hurst Field.

Keating became the first player since 2010 to homer three times against the Shockers. He connected for solo shots in the third and eighth innings, sandwiched around a grand slam in the sixth.

The Trailblazers (2-3) grabbed the first lead of the game in the bottom of the first when Tyson Fisher doubled home a run with two outs against WSU starter Cameron Bye (0-1). The Shockers got an RBI double of their own from Garrett Pennington in the top of the third to draw even at 1-1, but Utah Tech seized control with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Bryker Hurdsman laced a three-run homer to right-center, then Keating and Fisher followed with solo home runs for a 6-1 advantage.

Wichita State clawed back to within 6-3 on an infield single from Sawyre Thornhill and a Kyte McDonald sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth, but another five-spot in the sixth from Utah Tech put the game out of reach. Hurdsman was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Keating greeted reliever Robert Cranz with a grand slam to right for an 11-3 lead.

Mauricio Millan continued his hot start to the season with an RBI double in the top of the seventh, scoring Payton Tolle, who led the Shockers with three hits on the day. Keating capped off the scoring with his third homer in the bottom of the eighth for the game’s final margin.

Bye took the loss for Wichita State, allowing five runs in two-plus innings of work. Michael Mulhollon and Matt Wilkinson made their WSU debuts in the seventh and eighth, respectively, each recording a pair of strikeouts.

Carsten Herman (1-0) picked up the win out of the Utah Tech bullpen, going 2.1 innings while allowing one run.